7 Ways to Customize a Rental

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You don’t have to own a condo or a house to make your home yours. Rentals can be challenging (unattractive flooring, standard white walls, outdated light fixtures) but there are plenty of ways to work around the problem and tailor your apartment to your own tastes.

To really make an apartment your own, hang some artwork. If your landlord is dead set against any nails going into the wall, try some picture hanging strips instead.

wall art

via My Paradissi

Some landlords will allow you to paint as long as you choose a neutral color. Even the slightest hint of color can transform an apartment and freshen up the walls. If you can’t paint, bring color into your home through furnishings and artwork.

Replace outdated ceiling lights with something a little more stylish.



via Decoist

Faux wall paneling adds interest and texture. If your landlord doesn’t want you to paint, get the same effect with washi tape.

faux wall paneling

via Apartment Therapy

Old counter tops can temporarily become granite with Appliance Art’s Instant Granite. Similar to Contact Paper, the peel and stick Instant Granite can be applied directly over old counter tops and pulled back up when you’re ready to move again.

A wallpapered accent wall is a great way to add charm to a boring space. You could find some temporary wallpaper that you love.


via Decoist

And finally — hardware is a little thing, but it can have a big impact on the feel of a home. Why not replace some of the cabinet pulls or doorknobs in your home with new ones? Your new hardware will give your new apartment instant  charm, and you can take it with you when you go.

modern kitchen

via Décor Pad

With a bit of imagination you can transform your rental into a cozy home.


Luxury Villa in Brazil

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Hello hello everybody! I’m sorry for my absence but a lot of things happen in the last weeks and as you know I like to prepare as good as I can for my posts and I just couldn’t find time… But good news…I’m moving! Soon we will talk about living in a rental and taking advantage of a small space.

But until then I still want to dream for a gorgeous home in Rio de Janeiro…

How does it feel to be the proud owner of an amazing luxury villa in Brazil? We should ask Brazilian TV presenter Alex Lerner, he’s enjoying his fascinating home in Rio de Janeiro as we take a virtual tour via photos by G + SG fotografia de arquitectura.

Designed by Studio Arthur Casas  this home was built to serve the owner with a comfy, elegant and private heaven.

Evergreen vegetation surrounds this piece of heaven adorned with cumaru wood and vivid greenery. On the lower level there are 2 guest rooms and 2 more apartments for the maid and the gardener. Yes with this kind of house you need a full time gardener :) . On the third level, the master bedroom showcases framed panoramas of the ocean beyond the glass.

Clean design lines and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels divide the house into social and private spaces. From the inside, all is open and inviting – a fusion of indoor and outdoor designed with utmost care. The spacious swimming pool was one of the owner’s requests. Also, the stone used to erect this luxury Brazilian villa has the same color as the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem – this was a special request that was put into play in a modern, attractive way.


Luxury-Villa-in-Brazil-by-Studio-Arthur-Casas 01




Photos via Freshome


Enjoy this dream house!


6 Smart ideas how to use the space underneath the staircase

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With the world seemingly becoming more and more congested and growth opportunities only presenting themselves in a vertical fashion, rather than horizontal, utilizing the available space to the hilt seems like an absolute must. When it comes to contemporary homes and fashionable interiors, designers and architects are pulling out all stops to ensure that every inch is used in the appropriate fashion.

Storage spaces and stunning shelves under staircases are no longer an exception as home owners are starting to realize that all that room cannot simply be wasted. Here are 6 different ideas  that will hopefully inspire you to renovate and incorporate similar features in your own home.

If you want a home office and you don’t have a room designated for this, you can transform the space under your staircase in a cozy open office. Use open shelves to deposit your office things  and bright colors to create the sensation of bigger space.

home office

Hus & Hem via Desire to Inspire.

Usually people use this space for deposit, so an intelligent system  will help you access easier the things you need.

transitional staircase

Transitional Staircase by Richmond Kitchen & Bath Designers HINGE Cabinetry & Furniture

Have you ever thought to include your kitchen underneath the stairs? Well, not the whole kitchen…But part of a kitchen. The architect of this Prague apartment saved space by tucking the oven under the stairs.

kitchen underneath the stairs_

From Inhabitat

And I really really love this staircase with a bookcase underneath, from  Mark Koehler Architects via Plastolux.

bookcase under staircase_

What about using the space to design a bar?! Maybe a different texture for the wall or nice finishes would help to impress your guests. Don’t forget to install a small wine fridge  and expose some nice wine glasses.


Eclectic Basement by Milwaukee Design-Build Firms Brillo Home Improvements

If you don’t have a reading nook at the window you can create one underneath the staircase. It can be a perfect place to relax and enjoy a good book.


via e3homestar


5 Unexpected Uses for Tile

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Writing my last post about cement tiles made me think how could I use tiles in an unusual way. Tiles are not just for the kitchen & bath – here are 5 ways to add a dash of color to your interiors via tile.

A tiled wall serves as a headboard in this Italian house via Dezeen.

tiled headboard


A loft designed by Paola Navone with her own hexagonal tile design that sits atop the wooden floor like a carpet. Photograph by Wichmann + Bendtsen via Dwell.

hexagonal tiles design atop the wooden floor like a carpet

A bench and wall tiled in Navajo pattern by UK designer Neisha Crosland for De Ferranti.


To put a fun spin on a tablescape, line several rows of tiles down the length of your table to create a totally unexpected table runner.  Hand paint or use a marker on white ceramic tiles to act as place cards or even to number tables at a larger celebration, via Simplifyingfabulous

ceramic tiles runner

Stair risers need tiles too…via McGraw Design

stair risers

Inspiration:Cement Tiles

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After reading a great article at Designist about decorative cement tiles and bookmarking every picture I came across I decided I have to share with you this eye candy for your home.

A room with these tiles has so much character and as it turns out, authentic handmade cement tiles are pretty green, too, as I discovered when I started reading up about them.

Traditional cement tiles, also known as encaustic tiles, are created using cement, marble powder, and natural pigments in an artisan manufacturing process that hasn’t changed since the 1850′s. I am so happy to discover that Manolo Manufaktura is producing them in Romania. Because of them you can find them in some very cool places: Casa Boema from Cluj and Barbero Pub from Bucharest.

Cement tiles are extremely durable, easy to clean, non-flammable, non-polluting, recyclable, and naturally insulating, helping to keep surfaces cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

ceramic tiles

Casa Boema via Designist

ceramic tyles

Barbero Pub via Designist

Thanks to the immensely diverse range of colors and patterns available, it is perfect if you look to maximize impact on your floor and make a very personalized statement. Although the overall feel of encaustic tile is retro, you can go for a geometric cubic pattern mixed with sharp minimalistic furnishings.

Use your imagination and use them with confidence in your kitchen, bathroom, mudroom, hallway and even bedroom.

kitchen black and white cement tiles

via Tumblr

cement tiles

via Sadecor

cement tiles in bathroom

via Arty Filles

Cement tile for the entry, foyer or mudroom.

floor cement tiles for mudroom

via Cote Maison

Do you like them as much as I am? In what room would you use these tiles in your home?

Tell me what you think in the comments below.